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Chinese Literature
Mulingshu 牧令書, Mulingshu jiyao 牧令書輯要

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Mulingshu jiyao 牧令書輯要 is an excerpt of Xu Dong's 徐棟 Mulingshu 牧令書 "The book of the governor and the magistrate", a kind of handbook for district magistrates. Xu Dong was once prefect in Xing'an 興安 and Xi'an 西安 in the province of Shaanxi, and therefore had great experience in the administration of local territories. The book was written after that time, when he served in the Ministry of Works (gongbu 工部). It was revised by Ding Richang 丁日昌 and in 1868 submitted to the throne. The emperor acknowledged it and ordered to distribute it all over the empire. It was reprinted in 1873 by the Chongwen Press 崇文書局. The original book was 23-juan long and divided into 18 chapters, but Ding Richang cut it down to a size of 10 juan, and added a preface with remarks in the methods of compilation (Liyan 例言) and a list with short careers (Xingming jueli kao 姓名爵里考) of the more than sixty persons whose writings were quoted in the book. The Mulingshu jiyao is part of Ding Richang's collection Muling quanshu 牧令全書 which includes five texts, namely Xu Dong's Mulingshu jiyao and Baojiashu jiyao 保甲書輯要 (both revisions by Ding), Zhang Yanghao's 張養浩 (1270-1229) Mumin zhonggao 牧民忠告 from the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368), and three short books of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) writer Liu Heng 劉衡 (early 19th cent.), namely Yongli yongyan 庸吏庸言, Dulü xinde 讀律心得, and Shuliao wenda 蜀僚問答 (app. Qinpin zhouxian yishi 欽頒州縣事宜). The Mulingshu itself is found in the collectaneum Guanzhen shu jicheng 官箴書集成. A description of the text can be found on the website of the project " Legalizing Space in China" (

Mulingshu jiyao juan 1
1. (Mulingshu juan 1) 治原 Zhiyuan The basics of government
2. (juan 2) 政略 Zhenglüe Outlines of administration
Mulingshu jiyao juan 2
3. (juan 3) 持家 Chijia Controlling one’s family
4. (juan 4) 用人 Yongren The employment of men
5. (juan 5) 事上 Shishang Service to superiors
6. (juan 6) 接下 Jiexia Treatment of subordinates
7. (juan 7) 取善 Qushan Accepting good [suggestions]
8. (juan 8) 屏惡 Ping’e Rejecting bad [measures]
Mulingshu jiyao juan 3
9. (juan 9-10) 農桑 Nongsang Farming and mulberry cultivation
10. (juan 11) 賦役 Fuyi Taxation and labour recruitment
Mulingshu jiyao juan 4-5
11. (juan 12-14) 籌荒 Chouhuang Preparations for disasters
Mulingshu jiyao juan 6
12. (juan 15) 保息 Baoxi Ensuring relaxation [and thus prosperity]
13. (juan 16) 教化 Jiaohua Education
Mulingshu jiyao juan 7-8
14. (juan 17-19) 刑名 Xingming Law and order
Mulingshu jiyao juan 9
15. (juan 20) 戢暴 Jibao Elimination of oppressors
16. (juan 21)備武 Beiwu Military preparedness
Mulingshu jiyao juan 10
17. (juan 22) 事彙 Shihui Administrative reports
18. (juan 23) 憲綱 Xiangang Laws and regulations

Sources: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 1433. ● Wu Shuchen 武樹臣 (ed. 1999), Zhongguo chuantong falü wenhua cidian 中國傳統法律文化辭典 (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe), p. 378. ● Lu Wei 駱偉 (ed. 2000), Guangdong wenxian zonglu 廣東文獻綜錄 (Guangdong: Zhongshan daxue chubanshe), p. 431.

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